TA Day 34 – Hut life

Today – 8.6km from Kaniwhaniwha Campsite to Pahautea Hut

Total 805.6km

Shorty but a goody today. Enjoyed a lazy morning at the campsite before heading up the track to the hut.

Today’s track, the Tahuanui track, took me up Pirongia mountain, the tallest summit so far in the Te Araroa at 959m.

I was slow this morning, enjoying the bush track and some long extended breaks. It’s funny, when your mind knows you only have a few kms to go in a day you usually go either really fast or super slow.

Lots of people were going via the hut and down the mountain but a few of us were opting to enjoy the trails first hut with a short sweet day.

The track started really nice and graded then into more of a tramping track as it climbed steadily upto a lookout, and then the summit.

After a brief passing rain shower, the sun came out and it was an amazing panorama view at the summit.

The afternoon was spent lazing in the sun with new hiking friends, theres about 15 of us here tonight. The hut is spacious and fantastic, theres also a camping area , and a beautiful deck perfect for drying and airing out all the stinky hiker clothes.

Tommorrow is the mudslide down the mountain, my friends who are a few days ahead let me know kindly that the mud is worse than raetea forest , but shorter. No worries! One foot after the other.

Starting to look ahead to sort logistics out for the next section. My dad is looking to join for a section where I’m looking forward to jumping on a mountain bike for a couple of days. Also trying to organise the Whanganui canoe trip which will be after xmas.

I’m going to mix things up and look at dropping into the river from Taumaranui, which means skipping the Tongariro bit, but I’ll look to do a trip there anyway for some volcano hiking.

Getting close to Christmas! Being on trail is very normal now. You meet other hikers and you’re all on the same page. You can compare sock tans, dinner ideas and learn about alllll the different ways people are hiking the trail.

Tonight had a glorious sunset.

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